Forest Service plans prescribed burns in Shenandoah, Page and Rockingham Counties Virginia to reduce risk of wildfire and improve wildlife habitat

Contact(s): Mary Yonce, 540-266-2113


Map of RX burn units on Massanutten Mtn

Edinburg, Virginia, March 1, 2021 — The USDA Forest Service will begin conducting prescribed burns in Virginia’s Shenandoah, Page and Rockingham Counties between mid-March and late May 2021. Prescribed burns keep the public and homes safe by reducing the buildup of dried leaves and wood in nearby forest land that can lead to uncontrolled wildfires. Prescribed burns can also improve wildlife habitat by restoring open woodlands and grasslands to the forest landscape.

Experienced fire managers will closely monitor local weather conditions, such as wind and humidity, and adjust the schedule as needed to ensure the safety of both crewmembers and local residents. Prior to lighting the burn, crews construct and designate firebreaks to ensure the fire does not leave the burn area. The burn will mimic historic natural fire as much as possible. Some individual trees will burn, but the fire should travel mostly across the forest floor.

For thousands of years, fire shaped our forests and wildlife and our lands need fire to be healthy. Low intensity prescribed burns create open areas where a diverse mix of grasses, plants and wildflowers grow, and provide valuable food and cover for wildlife such as bears, deer, turkeys and migratory birds.

Safety is the Forest Service’s top priority and Forest Service fire managers will conduct prescribed burns in the following areas only under appropriate weather conditions:

Page and Rockingham Counties, Virginia.: The 3,578-acre Cub Run burn area is located 2.3 miles west of the town of Shenandoah and 2.9 miles north of the Massanutten Resort. The Massanutten South Trail (Forest Trail 416), Fridley Gap Trail (Forest Trail 419), Second Mountain Trail (Forest Trail 580), Morgan Run Trail (Forest Trail 583), Martins Bottom Trail (Forest Trail 579) Cub Run Road (Forest Road 65) and Pitt Springs Road (Forest Road 375) may be temporarily closed. For your safety, please follow posted signs and comply with trail closures when they occur. Depending on wind direction, this prescribed burn may have lingering smoke effects. Residents of Shenandoah, Massanutten, Elkton, New Market and Harrisonburg, and travelers on State Route 722, State Route 620, State Route 602 and U.S. Route 340 may see or smell smoke.

Shenandoah County, Virginia: The 600-acre Waonaze burn area is located in Fort Valley on Green Mountain.  Peters Mill Run Trail (Forest Trail 433, Forest Road 1702) borders the burn area on the west and Kings Crossing (Forest Road 1958) borders the burn area on the east.  Peters Mill Run Trail (Forest Trail 433, Forest Road 1702) will be monitored during the burn and may be temporarily closed. For your safety, please follow posted signs and comply with trail closures when they occur. Depending on wind direction, this prescribed burn may have lingering smoke effects. Residents of Fort Valley and Edinburg and travelers on State Route 675 may see or smell smoke.

Shenandoah County, Virginia: The 308-acre Moreland Gap burn area is located on Short Mountain four miles east of Mount Jackson, Virginia. A section of the Massanutten Trail (Forest Trial 408) from Moreland Gap Road (Forest Road 374) to State Route 730, Moreland Gap Road (Forest Road 374) and State Route 730 may be temporarily closed. For your safety, please follow posted signs and comply with trail closures when they occur. Depending on wind direction, this prescribed burn may have lingering smoke effects. Residents of Mount Jackson, New Market, Edinburg and Luray, and travelers on U.S. Route 11, Interstate 81 and State Route 730, may see or smell smoke.

Page County, Virginia: The 395-acre Indian Grave and Seakford fields burn area is located along the South Fork of the Shenandoah River and approximately one mile north of the town of Rileyville and eight miles north of Luray. State Route 717 may be temporarily closed. For your safety, please follow posted signs and comply with trail closures when they occur. Depending on wind direction, this prescribed burn may have lingering smoke effects. Residents of Bentonville, Fort Valley, Compton, Rileyville and Luray, and travelers on U.S. Route 340 and State Route 717, may see or smell smoke.

Page County, Virginia: The 319-acre Moody Tract burn area is located along the South Fork of the Shenandoah River and one-half miles west of the town of Rileyville and eight miles north of Luray. Goods Boat Landin and Goods Landing Road (Forest Service Road 259) may be temporarily closed.  For your safety, please follow posted signs and comply with trail closures when they occur. Depending on wind direction, this prescribed burn may have lingering smoke effects. Residents of Compton, Rileyville, Fort Valley and Luray, and travelers on U.S. Route 340 and State Route 684, may see or smell smoke.

For more information on our prescribed burn program, please contact the Lee Ranger District Office at (540) 984-4101. You can also follow us on twitter: https://twitter.com/GWJNF1.

 

 

 

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gwj/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD890572